A lot of people are still grinding away about the funeral of the late Sen. Kennedy.
Some are grinding because they are angry. Others are grinding in the sense of mulling, thinking through the issues.
I have come to the view that it wasn’t entirely out of bounds to have a funeral for the late Senator. Reports are that, at the end, he wanted the priest there and I am sure he received the last sacraments.
However, I said above: funeral. Actually a funeral. It should have been a funeral clearly focused on prayers for the repose of the Senator’s soul and begging God’s mercy. That is not what it was.
Furthermore, because of the risk of scandal, it seems to me that – despite his great public fame – the funeral should have been discreet…. not televised. So what if he was hugely famous?
Since the Church’s shepherd’s didn’t apply the law to the long-time pro-abortion advocate Sen. Kennedy regarding Holy Communion, it is pretty hard to say that he couldn’t have a funeral. I know two wrongs don’t make a right… but… as I said… at the end he did seem to want the sacraments and I pray to God he asked forgiveness for all his sins.
If there was public scandal, I am afraid that it is the fault not only of Sen. Kennedy himself, but also our shepherds who did nothing for decades in the face of what the Senator became infamous for doing.
So… people are mulling… grinding.
Two of the grinders are Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro, of the Rome office of Human Life International and Dr. Ed Peters, professor of Canon Law at Sacred Heart in Detroit.
I must agree with Dr. Peters in this case.
Fr. Brian Harrison , O.S. from the Oblates of Wisdom Study Center, St. Louis, Missouri, also has a piece on Lifesite.
How would our Church leaders act if they really did take seriously an official Church position from which a prominent deceased Catholic had publicly dissented?
To answer that question, we need only imagine a situation in which some well-known Catholic legislator had for years supported the Church’s social teaching ‘across the board’, in regard to human life, marriage, compassion toward the poor and underprivileged, etc., but had then, in old age, lapsed into supporting some ideological position that was strongly opposed not only by the Church, but also by the dominant Western elites.
Suppose, for instance, that he had come to endorse white supremacism or holocaust denial. …
Would they agree to give him a free pass in regard to this defect?